I don’t know when it happened, or how, or where the hell I was when it was happening, but sometime in the last, oh, 3 months or so, someone has come into my home and replaced my baby with one that walks and talks and sings and says “no” and screams and shrieks and laughs at farts and burps and dances at random songs and has opinions on everything from food to shoes to what is on TV. It seems to have changed overnight. One day I had a baby, the next, my very own little person.
I’ve got to say, this stage of the game is soooooooooooo much more entertaining. Not that caring for an inanimate lump of baby wasn’t rewarding in it’s own way. I mean, I enjoyed many a one-sided conversation with the little lovey, and there’s something almost Zen-like about how simple life can be when it’s all about an infant. But this new fangled kid I’m dealing with, she is a horse of different color. From the moment she gets up in the morning, it’s GO GO GO, DON’T STOP, MUST NOT STOP, CANNOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES STOP. Maybe she’s afraid that if she doesn’t use it, she’ll lose it? IT being the ability to walk really fast in circles around the dining room table for hours on end, stopping only to shovel food in her mouth or try to lick one of the animals.
And the talking. OH MY GOD the talking. She has full on conversations with me, the cats, the dog, her dad, her stuffed animals, the wall, her sippy cup, and her foot SIMULTANEOUSLY. Save for about 8 words that we’ve been able to decipher in the jumble of nonsense that pours from her mouth, I have absolutely no idea what the hell she’s saying. But she says it with such conviction, I can’t help but jump on board. I’ve probably agreed to buy her a car when she turns 13 and okayed her first tattoo. And with the talking comes listening. Meaning, she actually pays attention to me when I speak. Sometimes she acknowledges that she does indeed understand me, and sometimes she walks away and totally talks shit about me to the cat. But either way, I’ve gotten much more conscious of what I say, not just to her, but around her. “Don’t lick the wall” she ignores, but “shit” would totally be the one that stuck.
And now I’ve got to go, and sleep, and recharge for tomorrow. Because the thing about having this new version of the kid is, I never know what the day is going to bring. For all I know, she will wake up with the ability to do cartwheels and solve math problems. You’ve just gotta go with whatever shit comes up. Ahem, I mean “stuff”.